State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
Wisconsin Unemployment Rate Lowest Since November 2008 The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development announced the unemployment rate is reduced to 6.1 percent. Click here to view announcement.
Senate Approves Bills to Strengthen and Improve Election Day Practices
For years uncertainty and lack of accountability surrounded our elections. Throughout this legislative session we worked to prevent voting irregularities and prevent serious administrative errors by implementing clear uniform processes and practices at polling places. This week the senate approved several measures to ensure integrity and fairness electors expect and trust are in place during elections.
Senate Bill 265, strengthens fairness and security during elections by requiring, as practical, each political party have representation on each specific job within the polling place for each task requiring two or more people. SB 265 ensures each party has trusted workers at each polling place in case problems arise.
Senate Bill 267, improves and secures the voter registration process by enforcing the Constitutional requirement electors are residents of the district they vote.
Senate Bill 377, provides the public with information about Election Day statistics by requiring the Government Accountability Board (GAB) publish results of the Election Day voter registration audit and Election Day statistics on its website. SB 377 shines a light on Election Day voter registration, addressing the growing concern about the influx of same day registrants.
Senate Bill 548, grants GAB the authority and responsibility for conducting four-year maintenance of the state’s Voter Registration List, and requires GAB publish results of the four-year maintenance on its website. Establishing accountability for maintenance of the Statewide Voter Registration System ensures the registration list is current and accurate, preventing voter impersonation during Election Day.
Statutorily Wisconsin Elections are designed to be staffed by members of the two major parties. Senate Bill 20, expands the pool of eligible poll workers by permitting municipal clerks and political parties to recruit poll workers from throughout the county. This bill assists municipal clerks to recruit an adequate number of poll workers and provide party representation at the polls to assure elections are administered with a fair and transparent method.
All of the Election Day integrity bills approved by the Wisconsin State Senate are sent to the State Assembly for action.
Senate Approves Updates to Wisconsin’s Election and Campaign Finance Law
Senate Bill 655, modernizes Wisconsin’s Campaign Finance laws to reflect advancements in technology, codify state law and federal law, update outdated statutory provisions, and solidify best practices into state law.
The bill adopts Federal Election Commission regulations governing internet activity. The bill clarifies individuals acting on their own behalf and not compensated for their internet activity do not have to register with the Government Accountability Board, specifically protecting First Amendment online speech from government regulation. Examples of internet activity are blogs and Facebook. If there is compensation, registration with the Government Accountability is required.
Existing law prohibits lobbyists from making contributions prior to the legislature concluding its final floor period or while the legislature is in special or extraordinary session. SB 655 does not make changes to that prohibition. The bill reflects dates adopted during last session about the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. The dates were inadvertently omitted within MOVE Act legislation during last session. Accusation that this will open the flood gates to lobbyist contributions during the legislative session are false and fear mongering by Senate Democrats.
SB 655 is a fair-minded, housekeeping bill that modernizes Wisconsin campaign finance law, and that we negotiated changes with democrats in good faith.
Upon final approval of SB 655 by the State Senate the bill was sent to the State Assembly.
The State Senate Next Week
The State Senate is scheduled to be on the Senate floor March 18, 2014. The State Assembly is scheduled to be on the Assembly floor March 18 and 20, 2014 The 2013-2014 last general-business floor session is April 3, 2014.